Vodafone to Facebook: Go Pound Sand!

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1Q 2014 | IN-1018448


Vodafone Rebuffs Facebook’s Plea for Zero-rated Data


On February 11, the Financial Times reported that Vodafone rebuffed Facebook’s plea for zero-rating in certain markets of developing economies. Zero-rating means the mobile subscriber does not pay for the data consumed to access the content provider, or this at least does not impact their data tariff. Zero-rating with some limitations is often a means to expand market share, and introduce subscribers to mobile broadband and encourage consumption. The courts in the United States have thrown out FCC Net Neutrality regulations and operators like AT&T have proposed Sponsored Data service where the content provider pays. This sets the stage for an intense public discourse on the future of the mobile Internet. Add in the US$30 to US$50 smartphone arrivals, and the arguments extend to the next 2 billion smartphone subscribers from the developing economies.


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